The Poison: by Reginald Kenneth Mathes, MPA

black-misery-iii

An antidote is a medicine or remedy that is used to counteract the effects of poisoning.  Fuller Jr (2014) refers to the pain, misery, and agony that can be easily observed on the faces of Blacks in America as poison.  Fuller Jr. (2014) presumes that the poison that is easily seen within the existence and persona of most African-Americans, especially African-American males is the end result of slavery and White Supremacy.  Essentially, he goes on to reveal that this poisoning is a result of Slavery and systemic oppression that was purposefully designed to lock Blacks out of mainstream society after 1865.  Fuller (2014) contends that this poisoning and agony that has been trickled down from White Supremacy is the reason Blacks are slaughtering each other in the night.

I remember thinking that Fuller (2014) was insane when I first started studying his work.  But then I thought about how my life may have played out if I wasn’t so obsessed with gravitating to the hood (THE POISON).  It was at that moment that I realized why I was shot in the back close range with a 38. Caliber pistol.  It was at that moment that I realized why I have experienced so much envy on the job and off the job in my new found home of Baltimore, Maryland.  I think he’s right.  The supremacy of White privilege and pure White evil has poisoned us and the majority of the SKULL OPENERS in urban communities have no clue where their anger and frustration originated.

I remember when I originally started studying White Privilege, White Supremacy, institutional racism, and systemic oppression while pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration, I thought we were studying irrelevant outdated information.  Then it hit me, then I started seeing it everywhere.  It was mind blowing.  I could see invisible racism and overt racism.  But when I finally started to see the poison that is embedded within us black men as a result of slavery, covert, and overt racism, it was even more mind blowing.  I think we are truly doomed as a people.  At times, I sit and think “where I would be if I never headed North in 2011 and discovered truth?”

“Knowledge is Power” is a saying that myself and most African-Americans overlook as just a slogan such as “Just do it” by Nike.  It wasn’t until about a month ago that I discovered that this is not just a saying and its truth.  I predict that about 90% of African-Americans do not understand where the misery and poison comes from in the African-American community.  Fuller (2014) states “you can almost see it in their eyes”.  Well, I’m here to make a correction to that statement.  You can see it in their eyes.  As I walked into the market recently, I noticed a guy cleaning the windows staring at me with PURE anger in his eyes.  The knowledge allows me to smile and walk the other way or walk past him ignoring his entire existence.  But what is the solution for the poison that is perpetuating the number of Black skulls that are opened up by hollow point bullets in the African-American community?  Is the ANTIDOTE the reformation of Hip Hop culture?

The poison that is embedded in us as a result of White Supremacy that you can easily see in the eyes of young Black men and women is poured on us like flaming petroleum from a plethora of angles.  The music we love and glorify is just one of the many tactics used against Blacks that perpetuates the poison and anger you see on the majority of Blacks faces as well as in their eyes.  According to Alexander (2010) rap music transitioned after the War on Drugs started into and thousands of black men were rapidly cleared off the streets and forced into private prisons.  But even if we know this we have a tendency to continue to glorify the ignorance and destruction of our people.  Alexander (2014) states “they struggled to preserve a positive identity by embracing their stigma” (p.175).  Therefore, I better understand the poison that is embedded in my so-called brothers that I see daily in American society.  I have a stronger of understanding of why change is damn near nonexistent among the majority of Black men who have fallen victim to the system.  Psychologist contend that humans have a tendency to embrace their demise when they basically feel like they are TRAPPED.  Again, the knowledge is power.

But what is the Antidote? What is the solution to cease the number of African-Americans that are being killed by African-Americans daily in Chicago?  How can we build an economic powerhouse to fight White Supremacy if we cannot even work together within our careers?  Is the ANTIDOTE sterilization of Pookie, SHAQUEASHA and Tyrone?  What is the solution for the tearing down of one another simply because of appearance?  Is the ANTIDOTE for Black misery and Black on Black crime, Blacks simply staying away from one another unless we are being productive?  Is the ANTIDOTE, the teaching of the importance of love and compassion?  Is the Antidote, Donald Trump sending in the National Guard permanently in crime riddled African-American communities?  What is the solution that will assist the frustration and misery that perpetuates African-American skulls being opened by bullets that are being fired by young Black boys that are now being referred to as MONSTERS?

Dylan Roof, My Thoughts, and the Murder of 9 African-Americans By: Reginald Kenneth Mathes, MPA

Dylann_Roof_mugshot

“The singing of “We Shall Overcome” will not combat white supremacy or Black inferiorization any more than singing any song will help to solve a problem in medicine physics ~ Welsing

Before moving to Baltimore City in 2011 to pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration at Morgan State University, I never heard of terms such as overt racism and covert racism.  Ironically, Barrack Obama stated “it’s not just a matter of overt discrimination” immediately after the terror that was committed by Dylan Roof.   I never heard of terms such as institutional racism, eugenics, whiteness and biological supremacy.  I never knew that institutions of higher education that we are taught to idealize were major funders of the Atlantic Slave trade, and housed slaves while whites were enjoying a new experience of enlightenment.  I never knew that racism could be hidden in policies, curriculum’s, and laws.

I never knew that the term whiteness could be linked to their claim of owning the earth.  I remember asking my professor if my dissertation topic regarding the lived experiences of African-American students at PWIs was relevant.  He laughed.  Then Trayvon Martin was killed and all the information they were teaching me for four years became clear.  Race relations, racism, and essentially pure hate for non-whites in America is probably the most important issue today.

Then there was Michael Brown and Eric Garner.  Now it’s South Carolina and the Confederate Flag.  On June 17, 2015, Dylan Roof murdered 9 African-Americans and attempted to murder an additional three in a historic AME Charleston, South Carolina church.  From my understanding he was welcomed into this church family by open arms.  Open elderly African-American arms.  As we continue to approach what I refer to as the “last days”, I ask “should we be surprised?”  Why should we be surprised if research reveals that the global white collective starts and finishes with the unconscious consideration of white genetic survival, and the fear of white genetic annihilation?

In my opinion, before we can analyze our degree of surprise regarding the killings of 9 African-Americans in an historic South Carolina church, we must examine the active conditions of our American society.  It is essential that we examine the active conditions of a society, where increasing numbers of Black males are being killed by black males, and law enforcement agents.  It is vital that we investigate the elements and conditions of a culture wherein the greatest percentage of its resources are used in the creation and production of instruments of mass destruction (Welsing, 1991).  If these 9 killings are no longer discussed nationally in the media, and the solution to the problem is the eradication of the Confederate Flag, then we are stuck in a never ending cycle of White ignorance and the continuation of racial hate crimes.  In the words of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan “we’ve caught more hell under the American flag than we have caught under the confederate flag”.

Imagine what’s next.  Imagine what we are going to witness in the very near future.  Recently, I watched Mississippi Burning.  It’s a scene in that movie that displays a White politician discussing the Anglo-Saxon culture, and indicates that this nation and maybe this world was created for the wellness and glorification of White lives.  I guess this was the same state of mind Dylan Roof was in when he murdered 9 elderly African-Americans in the house of the Lord.  But why?  It’s taught.   Yes, racism and extreme racism of this sort is taught.   I had the opportunity to discover that racism is taught, while substitute teaching at a predominantly White elementary school in a predominately White town known as Towson, Maryland.  I was approached by an adorable white female elementary school student that could not have been any older than the age of 5.  She said “what’s your favorite season?”  Of course I said summer.

She returns with a drawing of a sun with sun shades on it.  How cute.  I damn near cried.  Especially after the pain and misery, I’ve experienced in Baltimore, Maryland that I am determined to overcome.  At that very moment, I discovered that racism is a learned behavior.   I assume that racism is taught in particular White homes in our dear country of AmeriKKKA.  If this young White elementary female student attempted to be my friend, I assume that her parents were individuals that understood that the human race is the only race.  However, I presume that the opposite was taught in the home of Dylan Roof.

I contend that hate was taught in the home of Dylan Roof.  Ironically, I’ve recently watched American History X (1998).  I discovered that hate is baggage.  Is the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan carrying a luggage full of hate?  Is the Former United States Representative Allen West wrong when he indicates that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s recent statements are outrageous?  Can we blame the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s statements for indicating that it’s time for the minority to start killing the majority?  His statements may be outrageous, however, I guess he’s tired of the singing “we shall overcome”.

Or I should probably say “I assume that he is tired of seeing Blacks forgiving, praying, and singing, while the murders of their family members are being fed burgers”.  So is he outrageous for calling for retaliation by 10,000 Black men who are ready to die?  There is a war going on outside no man is safe from.  So what’s next?  Another police killing? More police brutality? More police murders of Black men?  A race war in the streets of America?  What’s going on in America? What’s next?

THE TRAP: The Horseshoe Casino & the Continuation of Black Genocide By: Reginald K. Mathes, MPA

blog 6

The white supremacy attack upon the Black male causes a collapse of Black family life and a distortion in the role of the Black female.  This, in turn, causes a distortion and collapse of the support system for Black infants, children and youth, thereby beginning the process of inferiorization” ~ Welsing   

Last week, I decided to travel to Baltimore City’s newest 24 hour entertainment extravaganza.  The Horseshoe Casino.  I decided to experience the Horseshoe Casino during a beautiful sunset in the early morning around 3:00 AM.  As I navigated to one of the tallest parking decks that provides the most extravagant view of Baltimore City, I was confronted with the city of the misunderstood.  Or should I refer to the individuals that reside in this city as the “City of Survivors”?  Or if I labeled my people, as the City of the Lost, would I be stoned and castrated? Just my random thoughts.

The African-Americans who are suffering from institutional racism, residential segregation, oppression and essentially white supremacy.  Which I will soon start referring to as the PHANTOM.  See, I’m suffering from the same pain; therefore, I feel like I can express myself in any shape, form or fashion.  Do you get it? Furthermore, as my car accelerated up the tallest free parking deck in the city, I had a decision to make.  “Do I get out of my car”?  Do I go home and sit my ass down, as my mother has always suggested? Or do I go inside and let the bright lights, women, chandeliers and money trick me into thinking I made it?  Of course, I decided to enter a casino that was established and built in walking distance of a population that is in severe need.  Basically, an underserved community of African-Americans.

I ask myself, how do they establish a casino in a city that is in need of mentoring programs, and never-ending MLK speeches?  Never ending Farrakhan and Malcom X speeches.   A city that is in severe need of hope.  A city of mothers who are in significant need of Dr. Umar Johnson’s speeches.  Why would they put a casino that serves 24 hour alcohol in the middle of an undeserved community?  I guess it correlates with Dr. Francis Cress Welsing’s (1991) theories regarding the white collective.  Basically, annihilation of the Black race.  I refer to it as the extermination of the Black collective.  I predict that the establishment of this entertainment arena will assist with the perpetuation Black genocide, increased HIV rates, Black on Black crime and ultimately Black misery.  There is a chapter titled “Why White Americans are Healthier” in Knowles & Prewitt’s book titled Institutional Racism in America (1969).

Knowles & Prewitt (1969) contend that in order to answer this question we must distinguish between improving health, on the one hand, and decreasing disparity between Black and White health on the other.  I argue that establishing a casino in walking distance of the murder of Freddie Gray and underserved communities will continue to prolong health disparities in Baltimore City’s African-American underserved communities.  However, I have to admit that I anticipated gambling about twenty dollars on the slot machines, however; after entering the HorseShoe Casino, I started thinking with my higher learning.  I started remembering how terrified I was when my car accelerating up one of the tallest parking decks in the City of Baltimore as the sun was rising.

Ironically, I’ve been complaining about paying for parking for 4 years.  Guess what? Parking at this casino is free.  I can hear the white collective saying “make the parking free and serve the alcohol 24 hours”.  See, that’s THE TRAP” and we all are falling for it including myself.  I didn’t understand how deadly of a TRAP the Horseshoe Casino was until the next day.  As I traveled to a fine dining restaurant that specializes in Maryland’s signature crabs, a friend of mine said “it’s a terrible thing what they did there with that casino”.  Then it hit me.  Then it actually terrified me.  At that moment, I instantly understood why I was terrified to get out of my vehicle and engage myself into the bright lights that Kanye West sings about in one of his award winning songs.

It was at that moment, when I understood why Welsing (1991) states “as Black people, we also can adopt the definition that under the conditions of White supremacy, Black manhood does not mean macho or money, but instead it means warrior or soldier against White supremacy, embracing everything that the words warrior or solider imply” (p.192).  It was at that moment that I remembered walking through the most beautiful casino on earth, and noticing the anger, frustration and misery that resided on young Black men’s faces.  The images on these faces depicted pain, anger and violence which essentially led to my prediction of another blood bath in Baltimore City.  This was an experience that has led to a new goal, and vision of establishing a nonprofit to assist Baltimore City with saving young African-American men and boys lives.

The Facebook Front & The Crab in the Barrel Mentality: By Reginald K. Mathes, MPA

facebook front

Covetousness is defined as a strong desire to have that which belongs to another. It is considered to be a very grievous offense in scripture. The tenth commandment forbids coveting anything that belongs to a neighbor, including his house, his wife, his servants, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to him.  In addition, covetousness is defined as feeling or showing a very strong desire for something that you do not have and especially for something that belongs to someone else.  Before moving to Baltimore, MD in 2011, I might have logged into Facebook maybe once a month.  However, out of loneliness, homesickness and covetousness, I fell victim to admiring my so-called friend’s lifestyles and even individuals that I’ve never met.

So, I asked myself “what are you doing?” However, after becoming addicted to Facebook, I realized I’m a covetor as well and it’s like crack cocaine or heroin.  It’s just as addictive as Newport cigarettes and potent marijuana.  In my opinion, covetousness goes hand and hand with the “Crab in the Barrel Mentality”.  From my understanding, the Crab in the Barrel Mentality, is sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, a phrase that describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs.

Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless “king of the hill” competition which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise.  Maybe this is part of the reason there was 40 murders in the month of May in Baltimore, MD.  Maybe this is the reason there were 9 shootings this weekend in Baltimore, Maryland.  Or better yet, maybe this is the reason I heard “come back home” several times after leaving home to pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration.  Literally, attempting to pull me back south from the north to renter their bucket of crabs and a life covetousness.

Or better yet, maybe this is the reason my PhD candidate colleagues are so competitive instead of being collaborative.  Maybe this is the reason my so-called hometown friends said “you could have done that here”, speaking of my newly appointed position of “Substitute Teacher” within one of the most dangerous school systems in America.  As if they didn’t know, I escaped their bucket of crabs to pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration.

Or is it the curse of the Willie Lynch Syndrome? Maybe the rat race and competitiveness among African-Americans in the African-American community is due to the teachings of a British Slave owner named Willie Lynch.  We must understand, Willie planned on controlling slaves for 300 years, however; I contend that his teachings may still be controlling the African-American mind today.  He used fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes.  This is extremely interesting, I’ve heard recently that when a person is jealous or envious they are fearful.  Therefore, I assert that the “crabs in the bucket” I escaped in 2011 may have been fearful of my escape.  But why?

In addition, Willie used intelligence, status on plantations, attitudes of owners, location of where the slaves lived and the texture of a slave’s hair to control the minds of slaves.  However, the actual Willie Lynch letter indicates that distrust is stronger than trust and envy is stronger than adulation, respect or admiration.  Wow, this is so deep! He understood that envy was stronger than admiration.  Doesn’t that remind us of FACEBOOK?  Doesn’t admiration remind us of covetousness?

Willie was incredibly intelligent because originally in the letter he indicates that these teachings will refuel and self-generate slaves for 300 years.  However, later in his speech/letter he reveals that these teachings could refuel and self-generate slave mentalities for thousands of years.  Just scroll down your Facebook page, which I consider our new way of conceptualizing American society and the world.  I argue that Facebook perpetuates COVEOUSNESS, ENVY, ADMIRATION of thy neighbor’s possessions and lifestyles.  Of course, I can consider myself a victim as well.

In fact, the consistent light skin vs dark skin debate which is constantly discussed via FACEBOK was used as a tactic to control slaves.  I just heard a one hour debate two nights ago regarding this topic.  Therefore, I guess it’s confirmed that we are still cursed by the Willie Lynch Syndrome.  Also, he used female vs male and male vs female tactics to keep slaves under control.  Maybe this is part of the reason some Black men hate Black women.  Maybe this is the reason 80% of Black men prefer dating a lighter skinned women verses dating a darker skinned woman.  Is the reason some Black women hate Black men?

ENVY

If the Willie Lynch letter was written before the “crab in the barrel mentality” was conceptualized, then we can assume that the crab in the barrel mentality trickles down from the teachings of Willie Lynch.  See, now I understand why one of the crabs in my native land stated “your student loan debt will be passed down to your children” I DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN.  Now I understand why my so-called best friend was so adamant about me seeing his family’s socio-economic status improve.  Hell, I’m starting to think it’s a sickness.  Hell, I’m starting to think it’s a disease.  Now I understand why the bucket of crabs I escaped are in a competitive HOME OWNERSHIP rat race. PATHETIC.  At first, I assumed it was because they grew up in a poverty stricken area and public housing.  However, now I can forgive and understand.  It’s not their faults.  It’s just what trickles down from White Supremacy, and I assume the teachings of Willie Lynch. 

Now I understand why I was threatened of being stabbed right before migrating north to pursue a Doctorate of philosophy in Higher Education Administration at Morgan State University.  Now, I understand why I felt like a runaway slave following the hidden curriculum of the Underground Railroad when my vehicle navigated across the northern Virginia state line in 2011.  NOW I UNDERSTAND!

A City of the Frustrated and Oppressed: Justifiable Homicide and the 2015 Baltimore City Riots By: Reginald Kenneth Mathes, MPA

White supremacy is war against Black people in general and against Black males in particular, as embodied in such tactics and strategies as justifiable homicide.  It will require a total commitment and counter war effort on the part of all Black peoples to neutralize, by every means at their disposal, this war of racist injustice” ~ Welsing

“A lack of education” is what a White cashier said aloud to me at a local gas station in Baltimore County after Baltimore City erupted into flames.  There I sat watching the city that I’ve been curious about for approximately 4 years burn in flames as Baltimore City Black youth claim their reparations in their very own underserved communities.  Again, I’m faced with the opportunity to decide if I want to turn my nose up at Baltimore City youth and call them ignorant animals as the majority of White America are doing today.  Or do I refer to them as ants like the elderly White women did while sitting beside me watching Baltimore City youth flee their very own community marts.

Instantly, I start realizing that I just experienced the racial micro aggressions that research suggest African-American students experience at predominantly White institutions (Harper, 2008).  Hardwood et al. (2012) asserts that racial micro aggressions are subtle insults that African-American students experience while matriculating through undergraduate studies at PWIs.  In fact, Hardwood et al. (2012) reveals that these racial micro aggressions are often racial jokes and verbal comments, racial slurs written in shared spaces, segregated spaces and unequal treatment, and denial and minimization of racism.  From my understanding, the subtle insults are often times difficult to understand and analyze.  However, this was not the case when the White lady beside me said “they were like ants” while enjoying her Maryland crab cakes at a newly established fine dining restaurant that serves mostly the privileged in a town that I guess is my new home.

I guess I was a fleeing “ant” as well when I was fleeing from my native land to attempt to escape the bucket of crabs that research indicates is a result of White supremacy and runs rampant in the Black community.  Basically, Blacks pulling Blacks down.  I assume that the same frustration, I felt before leaving my native land is similar to the frustration of Baltimore City Black youth and Black men.  However, in their case it’s not just crabs in a barrel they experience that leads to frustration and hopelessness.  I guess we can add justifiable homicide to the list of challenges, Baltimore City Black youth and men face.  Or an attempt at justifiable homicide.  However, we choose to communicate Freddie Gray’s death doesn’t really matter.  What matters is the fact there is a city of human beings that have been treated like animals for years and it finally reached its tipping point.

Ironically, as I sat down next to these two White women enjoying crab cakes while communicating racial micro aggressions, I was met by their eyes that said “hey, we’re not racist”, I was the only Black in the establishment.  With the fear they had in their eyes when I sat down beside them on this sad day in Maryland, I became fearful for my own damn life.  I wasn’t too sure or not if they would allow me to leave the restaurant without being lynched or stoned.  Moreover, I guess part of the reason I didn’t know if I was going to end up like Emmett Till or not, was because Maryland hadn’t seen riots of this caliber since 1968.  I grew more and more frustrated while I listened to an almost elderly White woman indirectly or covertly communicate subtle insults about Baltimore City youth, however; this frustration was not comparable to the frustration and misery that was illuminated on CNN.  Their level of frustration actually assisted them with successfully making a Maryland Law Enforcement SWAT team retreat.

My knowledge regarding justifiable homicide and the frustrations of the Black community, which are a result of White supremacy, eradicated my notion to label young Black Baltimore city youth as ignorant and inhuman.  Especially, after moving to a metropolitan city to pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration and seeing a city of Black people in a state of despair that I didn’t know exist.  Maybe now the issue of the lack of revitalized buildings, oppression, revitalized schools and the results of institutional racism will be addressed.  I knew I saw and recognized something different and inhuman upon arriving in Baltimore City.  Ironically, I had the opportunity to witness the City that I was concerned about be burned down by the frustrated children that I taught in Baltimore City Public Schools and African-American adults in Baltimore City.

Can we blame them for their actions? Or do we blame another one of America’s law enforcement agencies with attempting to commit JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE?  According to Welsing (1991) an open warfare is continuously being waged against the African-American collective.  In fact, Welsing (1991) contends that this war that is being waged against the Black collective is due to White’s original fear of White genetic annihilation.  I do not whole heartily agree with some of the Cress Theory.  However, I do agree with her assumptions about what perpetuates Black inferiority and her theories, thoughts and ideas regarding America law enforcement and justifiable homicide.  For example, I agree that whenever there is an extreme sense of vulnerability due to unemployment and inflation there will be increased crimes in African-American communities which essentially perpetuates justifiable homicides of African-American males.  That being either children or adult males.

So if the system is basically a modern day system of slavery designed to perpetuate the oppression of people of color, should we be surprised if another law enforcement officer is acquitted for murdering another Black boy?  Welsing (1991) states “this murder and slaughter will be logically viewed as justified within the specific logic framework of fear of White genetic annihilation” (p.186).  Welsing (1991) actually relates the killing of Black men by law enforcing to the sport of hunting.  Honestly, it’s starting to seem like it is a sport to the White male law enforcement collective.

If murdering Black males of all ages is a sport to the White collective, why is throwing bricks at fully armored White males by young Black boys a good enough reason to label them as thugs and animals?  Can we blame underserved African-Americans males for reacting in this way when they come from the blood of slaves and have the heart of kings?  Can we blame them for reacting in this way if their ancestors were thrown off of moving ships into the Atlantic Ocean while their ankles were shackled?  Is this Karma that God is placing on the White collective for the slaughter of indigenous populations and the invasion of African territories?  Is this God’s ultimate plan to make ignorant White law enforcement officers recognize their privilege?  Or is this a notion of a higher power to make White America in general recognize their privilege?

I remember reading about White colonist invading a village of Indians and destroying their luxurious homes and farms.  The literature revealed that the colonist had never seen homes of such caliber owned by indigenous people.  After slaughtering the villages in entirety, they decided to stick around and enjoy the fruits of the indigenous people’s labor.  Literally, their fruits.  According to Wilder (2013) their actions were ordered by George Washington.  America’s President at the time.  Well, I guess if you’re White then you’re right.  I was being sarcastic; however, if they are acquitted or the charges are overturned then maybe the fear of White genetic annihilation is the fuel that keeps the fire burning in the White collective.

Finally, I argue that White identity development is essential to the character development of White law enforcement agents in America.  It is essential that Whites recognize and understand their privilege.  It is critical that White law enforcement agents understand that we are not living in a post-racial society.  In addition, I argue that if White law enforcement agents are trained in a way that allows them to understand that White supremacy is a system that was implemented after slavery to perpetuate Black inferiority, justifiable homicide, despair in the African-American community and Black on Black crime then change can slowly begin.  So whats next?  What’s next for Baltimore City?

Black Genocide: A City of Black Men and Boys Becoming Extinct By: Reginald Kenneth Mathes, MPA

blog 2I never truly felt that I was an educated Black man until I arrived in Baltimore City in 2011.  After accepting a position at an HBCU in West Baltimore and riding down West North Avenue, not only did I discover that I am an educated Black man, I discovered that I am truly a silver spoon Negro as well.  The level of poverty, despair and abandoned buildings was terrifying and heart wrenching.  I guess my father is a smart man because for some reason he knew, I should not be parking on West North Avenue.  For the first time in my life, I saw the graffiti and homelessness that was portrayed in the movie New Jack City and all the movies that I loved growing up that perpetuates Black Genocide.  However, as of now, I’m officially becoming fed up with Black genocide.  In addition, for the first time in my life, I saw no grass and a lack of revitalized buildings.  I asked myself, “What happened to Baltimore City?”

I remember speed walking to my car praying a gun would not be drawn in my face.  The boarded windows on abandoned buildings reminded me of the 30,000 abandoned buildings mentioned in one of my first doctoral studies classes at Morgan State University.  One or two things happens when you’re from a silver spoon and you arrive in Baltimore City.  Either you discover a love and heart for the young Black men who are killing each other or you turn into an Uncle Tom and turn your back on your own people.  I believe W.E.B. Dubois referred to that as “estranging the masses”.  As much as I’ve tried to go the Uncle Tom route, I discovered that I truly have a conscious in regards to underserved communities and young Black boys who come from fatherless homes.

Furthermore, over the past three years, I have continuously asked myself “what happened to Baltimore City?”  After recruiting students for a federal Trio program, I discovered that the majority of “City Schools” buildings were not even in the condition of my high school in the year 2000.  It was 2011.  So I ask myself, “How can a young Black boy from an underserved community develop a love for education if the school environment is equivalent to the environment of Eastside High that was portrayed in Morgan Freeman’s movie Lean on Me?”  Why are the schools not revitalized and in the condition of the schools in Baltimore County?  Maybe the answers rest in Pietila’s (2009) book titled Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City.

Why are “City Schools” currently in a condition that makes the importance of education invisible to the eyes of young Black Baltimore Youth?  I assume that the condition of these schools could be part of the reason why 189 of the 222 murders in Baltimore City in 2014 were the fatalities of Black men.  I never understood the mentality of young Black men in Baltimore City until I was employed with “City Schools”.  I never really understood the nihilism in Baltimore City until I continuously heard about murders that took place the night before, as I traveled to “City Schools” with metal detectors at the entrance.  Upon entering “City Schools”, I was instantly confronted with the future of Baltimore City.  Young Black boys.  However, as much as I was terrified for my own life, I grew to become actually terrified for their lives outside of those doors on Harlem Avenue.

Every week, I would drive to Harlem Avenue anticipating the heart wrenching news of one of my students being gunned downed.  This vision was clear in my mind because I experienced on my first day working at a different high school in the vicinity of West North Avenue.  My experience on Harlem Avenue in a school known as a “shut down” school allowed me to understand another reason Black boys in Baltimore City have no desire for education and an extreme fascination with violence.  I argue that Hip Hop and Rap music perpetuates a lack of desire for education in underserved communities in Baltimore City.  It was as if their MP3 players were their books. Research suggest that Hip Hop is a government weapon designed to perpetuate Black inferiority (Wakins, 2014).

In fact, Gunning Francis (2014) states “toxic hip hop is like feeding young Black boys cyanide for breakfast”.  I support this claim because on Harlem Avenue my students were reciting lyrics as if it was Shakespeare.  In addition, I agree with her claim because this toxic hip hop music is part of the reason I was shot in the back 2003.  She’s right it is like cyanide.  I listen to these lyrics today and before pursuing a doctorate, I was fascinated and brainwashed just like the youth of Baltimore City.  Currently, I am realizing that the more and more I emerge myself in these clubs where this music is being played, I’m a hypocrite.  However, I have to admit, I have not even completely eradicated this phase out my life as well.

But I challenge Black and White America to assist Stephanie Rawlings-Blake the Mayor of Baltimore City with designing programs to assist young Black boys and men from killing each other.  How do we stop it?  How do we impact change in Baltimore City and awareness about Black Genocide and the system that was put in place to keep Black men in prison and not Harvard? How?


Does Whiteness Negatively Affect the African-American Community? By. Reginald Mathes, MPA

whiteness pics

Growing up in a Southeastern region of the United States of America, I repeatedly heard my father vent about Whites literally walking through him while simply walking down the sidewalk. He would vent about how his existence seemed invisible in the eyes of Whites. Is he racist? No. Am I racist? No. I finally experienced this in an airport in Connecticut when I bumped shoulders with a citizen of the majority race. It was as if he did not even see me. I looked back and he was looking back as if I was in the wrong. Instantly, I understood what my father was talking about over the years. While pursuing doctoral studies, I discovered two concepts for what my father was ranting about. I argue that the lack of acknowledgement of my father’s existence by whites rest in the unconscious habits of racial privilege and Whiteness that Shannon Sullivan’s book titled Revealing Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege (2006). Sullivan (2006) explores her claim of whiteness as ownership of the earth. Maybe this is the reason my father and I experienced a lack of existence acknowledgement.

Perhaps, we can gain an understanding of the Whiteness and institutional racism that is embedded in America by understanding Sullivan’s (2006) quote that states “One of the hiding places of the terror of whiteness is white people’s blithe ignorance of race and racism” (p.127). Furthermore, I actually thought my dissertation title regarding the lived experiences of African-American students at PWIs was irrelevant until the Trayvon Martin incident in Florida. A few months later, I discovered that my research areas regarding Eurocentric thought, institutional racism, Black identity and White identity development are vital to the uplift of the African-American community. Michael Brown’s assassination in Ferguson, MO confirmed the fact that my dissertation theme is relevant.

I argue that Whiteness affects the lives of African-Americans and perpetuates Black inferiority. In addition, I argue that the perpetuation of Black inferiority leads to Black on Black crimes, fatherless Black children, uneducated Black men and women and increased poverty rates in our communities. It is essential that we as citizens of America, understand the significance of human brotherhood. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the Whites are not pulling the triggers of guns in Chicago that led to the recent despicable amounts of Black men, women, and children being killed in Chicago. However, I argue that institutional racism that was ingrained in American society after slavery ultimately leads to the nihilism in the Black community that Dr. Cornell West discusses in his book titled Race Matters (1994). It is essential that Whites in America understand the importance of White racial identity development.

The dangerous thing about Whiteness is that it’s invisible. It is essential that our young Black youth understand that there was a system put in place after slavery to keep them from accomplishing the American Dream. I contend that we as a people in America, Black and White wake up and strive for the universal human brotherhood that Sullivan (2006) discusses in her literature. By the way she is White.

Do you prefer your African-American Son or Daughter to Attend a Predominantly White Institution or an HBCU?

Growing up in a two parent home in the Southeastern region of the United States, my parents were a significant influence in my understanding of the importance of education. Both of my parents attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). My mother and father, received Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from HBCUs. Neither of my parents attended a predominantly White institution (PWIs). I often wondered if they pursued their post-secondary education at a PWI, would I have grown up in a predominantly White neighborhood. Would my quality of life been significantly different if my parents were graduates of PWIs? Especially during a time when degrees were more valuable than they are today.

Currently, I am pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration at an HBCU. At times I find myself regretting pursuing a Doctorate degree at an HBCU. At other times, I feel that the education is just as valuable as if I were attending a PWI. At a time when dismantling HBCUs is in the headlines of the news, I’m finishing a PhD at one. Is this degree even going to be worth the hard work and dedication that I have put into my quest for greatness? Or will I end up with a name tag working at Wal-Mart that says “Dr. ——-? Oh how embarrassing that will be. Ironically, the education I have been pursuing has educated me about how these very same institutions that we grew up idealizing were major players in the perpetuation of Black inferiority. Yes, Princeton, Harvard, and the majority of the Ivy Leagues were institutions of higher education that perpetuated Black inferiority.

Regardless of the information that I have received pertaining to these institutions about how students dug up African cadavers at an Ivy League school in the northeast to dissect. Regardless of the fact that my doctoral education has informed me that African human tissue was the currency of the establishment of medical science at these institutions of higher education that we are taught to idealize, I still feel that if I had children I would prefer for them to attend a predominantly White institution. Don’t get me wrong, I love HBCUs and I know that they have produced an enormous amount of leaders in America, I still feel my children would have a better opportunity of the American Dream if they attained at least one degree from a predominantly White institution. Isn’t this just the perfect example to illustrate the strength of the White power structure in America? I wonder how employers really look at the applications of HBCU graduates. In fact, I was told recently by a friend that her manager looked down upon the very institution that I am attending. I have friends that graduated from HBCUs that frown upon their very own HBCU. Are our institutions becoming obsolete?

I argue that they are not, in fact I argue that HBCUs are literally lifesavers for members of the African-American community whose grades may not have been considered stellar in their secondary school days. This article was written to discover ideas and theories regarding the PWI vs. HBCU debate. Are our institutions still relevant?